Press Release

March 7, 2022 | By Cole Hatcher

‘Servant Leadership’

Longtime Greif Inc. Leader to Discuss Business Ethics March 24 at Ohio Wesleyan

Pete Watson

DELAWARE, Ohio – Pete Watson, executive chairman of the Board of Directors for Delaware-based Greif Inc., will discuss “Creating a Culture of Servant Leadership” when he gives a free, public lecture at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Watson, who retired Feb. 1 as Greif’s president and chief executive officer, will present OWU’s 2021-2022 Robert L. Milligan Leaders in Business Lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 24 in the Benes Rooms inside Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Watson spent 22 years at Greif, including six as its president, before retiring last month and joining its board. Greif is a global leader in industrial packaging products and services, with more than 16,000 workers in 41 countries.

In announcing Watson’s planned retirement last summer, then-Chairman of the Board Michael Gasser said: “Pete exemplifies servant leadership and embodies the values of The Greif Way. He has driven a laser focus on customer service excellence, powered by a team-first approach, throughout the enterprise. … Pete has led with humility, authenticity, and care for the well-being of our colleagues, our customers, and our planet.”

According to Greif’s vision statement, it seeks to be “the best performing customer service company in the world” in industrial packaging. It produces steel, plastic, and fiber drums, intermediate bulk containers, reconditioned containers, flexible products, containerboard, uncoated recycled paperboard, coated recycled paperboard, tubes and cores, and a diverse mix of specialty products. Greif also manufactures packaging accessories; provides industrial filling, packaging, and other services; and manages timber properties in the southeastern United States.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Milligan Leaders in Business Lecture Series was created in 1992 with an endowment gift from Robert L. “Bill” Milligan, OWU Class of 1922, and his wife, Mary Cook Milligan, 2002 honorary alumna, both deceased. The annual lecture is organized by The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, which works to enhance teaching, learning, research, and community service at the university. Learn more about the center and its mission at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at